Praying for Him: Starting with Me

Where to begin.

This post is on the tip of my tongue fingers. My mind has exploded with thoughts and realizations of just how far I need to come.

I am realizing first hand the truth Stormie so beautifully conveys in PoPW's first chapter: It doesn't help to simply pray for your husband and hope that God changes him. You have to ask God to work on you first.

"The hard part about being a praying wife, other than the sacrifice of time, is maintaining a pure heart."

The first words of the chapter.

And a light goes on.

I've heard myself say it before, and I know, for certain, I will say it again: we can't focus on what we think needs to be changed in someone else. We have no control over whether or not they change. That is, talking, yelling, hashing it out, dropping hints, trying whatever form of physical action we think may work. We might as well chalk them up to no good.

It ain't goin' anywhere, sister.

That job is for God. God alone has the power to change what you so desperately think needs changing.

Our job is to lay everything down at His feet, bring ourselves willing and ready to work on ourselves (Only ourself. Ouch!), and pray for that for which we think needs to so desperately change.

*face meet palm*

That broken record might as well keep playing. At least, I know I need it to keep on playing.

Oh and Jesus told us so very humbly many, many years ago, "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? (Matthew 7:4)"

In the process, God will teach us about ourselves. The ways that maybe we thought we were doing well and really were failing as we attempted, desperately, to do it in our own strength. That being hung up on past hurts, disappointments, anger, resentment, you name it is not worth the effort when you could be using all of that to press into Him and hopefully see your marriage built up, made strong in Him, ready to be the team He designed you to be.

One of the points I find in my notes on this chapter is that prayer brings about unity and love.

Stormie points out that you can't truly pray for your mate if you are harboring anything that isn't of God against them. It doesn't matter how big or little it is. If you're hanging on, you're not letting God and prayer most definitely will not really be the communication it was meant to be.

After all, God asks us to be honest with Him. He wants every. last. part. of. us. And when we bring every last part of us and lay it bare before His throne, that allows Him to come in and be God. He can't restore the broken pieces if we aren't willingly admitting our faults, whether that be fear, anger, bitterness. Whatever it is, if we can't admit it, He can't work. And the only way for growth to happen is for honesty about our anger, fear, resentment, and ask that He replace it with love, joy, and peace (and all the other fruits of the spirit that can only come from a heart fully submitted to Him).

Well, I'm not one to be found sitting today where I was yesterday in life. Even if it's what seems two steps back in order to move one step forward. You better believe I'm asking God to give me the strength to face whatever He has for me so that I can become more of His likeness, a vessel for His glory to be displayed.

He answered.

Now I must make a move.

You see, in my time of praying for Ben's wife (sounds kind of funny to say it that way :]), I've fully come face-to-face with something I've known but not really looked into: I do not regard the words of my mouth as healing or damaging. I vent like no woman's business and often find myself coming back to pick up the pieces I've shattered, begging God to show me what I need to do differently, but not really meaning it. Not really wanting to stop.

Because, unfortunately, I sometimes find it kind of nice to vent full-blown like that. Not that I enjoy hurting the target that gets the blow torch. But I love the feeling of releasing the hot air. And I selfishly don't care about who gets the heat. I just want to let it out.

(Maybe I need a sound proof room to let them out. Or better yet, a good punching bag to help literally unleash the force within a bit more constructively.)

My point is I need to learn to vent those feelings to God. And He is showing me, as I willingly ask Him to guide me in this, how my words can do more good if I bring them to Him, wait on His timing, which may mean in a few minutes, or a few weeks, or never, and learn that just because I feel it doesn't always mean that right now is a must time to bring it up.

Stormie talks in depth about this. Here is one of my favorite quotes from this "topic": "When you pray, God reveals anything in your personality that is resistant to His order of things."

He is making me hyper-aware of my order being quite off from His. Yelling or flippantly criticizing my husband is most definitely not God's order of things.

As hard as it is, I'm loving this challenge He has placed before me of praying for Ben over these next 30 weeks (1 down, a life time to go...but 29 for this book). I keep hearing Him whisper to me:

Wait. It doesn't have to be said right now. Wait.

Have you come to me with that yet? What do I have to say about that?

Oh how my heart is feeling the good pain of discipline. The constructive correction of a love Father who wants what is best for me, which then includes what is best for my family as He placed them in my life. This journey, though rough as it may be, excites me knowing that it can only bring about one thing: drawing closer to the heart of my Father. That in turn will only help build my marriage and help grow in me a love that can only come from Him.

And that is what I want to see in my life: His beauty.

Have you prayed for yourself in regards to a significant other (dating, engaged, or married)? What have you learned from that? If you haven't, what's holding you back?

For those of you who are single, how has praying for yourself affected you? This can apply to a relationship that seems sour but you know God wants you to be a part of - be it family, work, or aquaintance. If you aren't praying for yourself, what's holding you back?

Make sure to come back inext week to hear about my week of praying for his job. I'd love to "hear" your thoughts on your prayer experience, too!

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome, Megan! I'm LOVING reading into your posts and seeing your evident love for Christ and seeing your heart shining through your (very eloquent!) writing! I'm so sorry to learn about your recent loss too. What a heartbreaking thing and I can"t even imagine. Virtual hugs to you!


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